Lot 48: How Youth Is Represented in the Media

October 10, 2012

How Youth Is Represented in the Media

I have noticed something lately.  The majority of characters portrayed in media these days are not my age.  In fact, they are typically in their 30s.  And those 30 year old characters talk about how they feel old and don't understand 'young people" and they make a lot of pop culture references I don't understand.  This is the problem with ageism in Hollywood.  Your career is from 30-50s.  You are too young and too inexperienced to be a producer or writer or anything in your 20s and when you turn 50, you are considered too old to be in touch with what's cool so you are fired (this is actually very accurate.  I studied this a lot while I was in LA.  There is a great factor of ageism in the entertainment industry.)  The problem is, nobody is writing for my age group.  Hollywood makes entertainment that we like and they strive for that, but they don't fully understand us or respect us.  And how could they?  We are a different generation and we grew up in a different era of pop culture.  I don't understand people in their 30s and that's fine, because they don't understand me.  It just frustrates me when I see some medium where 30 year olds discuss how irresponsible and lazy and weird my generation is.  I don't like the way Hollywood represents my generation, I really don't.  I really wish there were writers in their 20s who were writing shows with pop culture references that I understood with a positive representation of my generation.
I often think of The Social Network when I think about how college aged people are represented now a days.  I feel we are viewed as partiers, drinkers, irresponsible, crazy and (yes) fun people.  People who just party all through college and show up to class hungover.  But not all of us are like that.  Most of us are working 40 hours a week and going to school full time.  Juggling life and work and internships and school and trying to make ends meet.  We deal with weird roommates and trying to figure out what career we want.  We study and work hard and deal with homesickness when we least expect it.  This is being in your early 20s.  Not hula hooping at the park while smoking pot and working as a buser at a Thai restaurant part time and flip flopping between being gay and straight.  That's how the media portrays my age group and I don't like it.  A lot of people are like that, but not all of us are.  That group of people my age who work hard and are responsible and juggle everything are being ignored and not represented at all.  Someone please write a movie about this demographic!  Because we are sorely lacking a voice.

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